Over the weekend, countless raunchy photos leaked online, after being stolen from celebrities’ iCloud accounts, in the biggest instance of breach of privacy in recent times. Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton confirmed the photos were real, as their attorneys announced they would be going after anyone who would post them online or as much as link to them.
The FBI is now on the case but the scandal is far from dying down. The leak has reopened the debate on privacy and just how much of it you can expect online, even in a case like this, when the women in question weren’t looking to ever have that material made public.
Most of the photos were snapped in their bathrooms or bedrooms, either alone or in the company of a male partner, in their most intimate moments. Many were meant solely for the eyes of that partner, while others were snapped for fun.
They were instantly uploaded to iCloud, Apple’s backup service, so that, when the pics were deleted from the devices they’d been snapped on, they remained there. The hacker just broke into the account and then posted them to 4chan, claiming that he had even more material coming in the following days.
He even teased fans with footage with Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, but that may very well not exist.
Either way, it’s clear that Kirsten Dunst considers Apple responsible for what happened, because she posted this message to Twitter: “Thank you iCloud,” followed by the Pizza emoji and the Smiling Poop one. Ouch.
Apple has also launched an investigation, but so far, it’s yet to say if the leak was possible through some fault of their iCloud service or not.
Dunst is not the only celebrity targeted in the leak to use Twitter to address the situation. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead did the same, the former to deny that the photos were of her, and the latter to blame both the hacker and those who were looking at the photos online for violating her privacy.
Meanwhile, attorneys for Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, who were both heavily featured in the pics, have assured the media that they would be suing anyone who distributes in any way the illegally obtained pics. As noted above, the FBI is also investigating the breach.
Other celebrities the hacker claimed to have stolen photos from included Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice and Kim Kardashian, but those turned out to be fakes.
Thank you iCloud🍕💩— Kirsten Dunst (@kirstendunst) September 1, 2014
the fake photos of me are crazy!! was trying to rise above it all, and not give "the creator" the time of day.. BUT.. pic.twitter.com/hceQcOxYkJ— McKayla Maroney (@McKaylaMaroney) September 1, 2014
shout out to my fans for defending me all day long.. even when things got weird u stood by me. and that meant the world💕🌎— McKayla Maroney (@McKaylaMaroney) September 1, 2014
To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) August 31, 2014
Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked.— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) August 31, 2014
Going on an internet break. Feel free to my @'s for a glimpse of what it's like to be a woman who speaks up about anything on twitter 👍— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) September 1, 2014